Over the weekend, YouTube started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search to reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching. This is a continuation of ongoing efforts to focus video discovery features on watch time and recent improvements to YouTube Analytics.
The changes so far have resulted in less clicking and more watching. YouTube expects the amount of time viewers spend watching videos from search and across the site to increase. YouTube also added new Time Watched reporting to YouTube Analytics. This enables content creators to evaluate the performance of their videos and channel.
Channel owners can see “Estimated minutes watched” from the Views Report or choose other data options from the “Compare metric” drop-down menu. Annotations are one of the most used features to drive audience engagement in YouTube. The beta version of Annotations report can be used to view data on the performance of video annotations, with insights on viewer click and close rates.
For those of you that are new to YouTube Analytics, here is a quick overview.